Weldon Hawley came to the Waggoner Ranch in 1972 after serving in Vietnam. His father, Charlie, was a cowboy on the ranch, and Weldon carried on the family tradition. He started at the bottom, living in the bunkhouse before working his way up to Ranch Manager. He retired at the end of February after 45 years as a Waggoner Ranch cowboy. In 2005, Weldon was presented the Top Hand Award at the 25th Annual North Texas Rehab Ranch Roundup
“When I started thirty years ago, we had two vehicles,” he says. “We rode in the camper in the back of the wagon boss’ truck. The chuck wagon was out (instead of cowboys driving in to eat at the cook shack). We have radios and cell phones and the helicopter. Everything else is about the same as it always has been.”
Weldon has a reputation as a hardworking man of integrity. People often visit our Facebook page to leave comments about him, recalling old stories and praising his hard work.
In 2016, Weldon was interviewed in Western Horseman Magazine for a story on the book. There, he reflected on what it is like to work on a historic ranch. “We’ll be the last bunch of cowboys working under the W. T. Waggoner Ranch. The book shows we’re still surviving doing things like they did 100 years ago, the cowboy way.”
For 45 years, Weldon has devoted himself to the Waggoner Ranch. It’s been an honor to get to know him, and we wish him all the best in his retirement. You can see more photos of Weldon Hawley from the book below.